Monday, August 02, 2010


In the fall of 1975, I dropped out of college after a month and got it into my head to hitchhike west across Canada from Toronto; I got the luckiest ride in history (especially for a kid who hadn’t figured it would be snowing in October on the plains of Alberta and only had a Levis jacket as his warmest coat) which took me from just outside my starting city all the way to a town in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia called Revelstoke, and finally ended up in Vancouver, where I spent a week at the youth hostel before heading south to San Francisco, which became my home for ten months prior to my first bout of college in Portland, Oregon the following September.

I remember sitting on an outcropping of rocks somewhere near the University of British Columbia, looking at the mountains to the north and deciding that this is where I wanted to live, and although that’s not what ended up transpiring, it’s amusing to imagine what my life might be like had I been somewhat more persistent in following my plans at the time(or perhaps less easily distracted by whatever mind-altering substances I happened to be ingesting that week).

Being here, observing those same landscapes that so enticed me three and half decades ago, I can pretend that I stayed here, eventually went to UBC and became, as was my vague notion at the time, a botanist. I would have, after graduation, eventually purchased a big, old house in the Kitsilano neighborhood and by this time, have three grown children and at least one ex-wife.

Would I be a better, happier person? Probably not, but there’s a good chance I’d be Canadian, and I suppose that’s almost the same thing. I might even be a Canucks hockey fan, but I’m going to insist I still wouldn’t be one of the ubiquitous local socks n’ sandals guys who wears khaki shorts at night.


Blogger Deb's Lunch said...

I remember that trip as the way you & became friends again - started our adult brother & sister relationship? After a normal period of being annoying little brother & stuck up big sis. You were afraid (I think) to call the parents to tell them you were still alive, so you called me, so I could relay the news, and we talked more than we had in years.

7:03 AM  

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